My trip to Costco was a front row seat to the ongoing Plastic Apocalypse. What I saw there 👇🏼
The plastic industry, in partnership with the big stores, is dedicated to flooding the world with single-use plastic. The situation seems bleak, however I believe your choices and your voice will help build a better world.
Posted by Anita Horan on Tuesday, May 7, 2019
My plastic awakening happened when I decided to investigate waste and recycling a few years back. My research began with an undercover tour of a recycling plant and I also started to observe consumer behaviour while scrutinising my own rubbish bins – it quickly became apparent we had an enormous problem on our hands, one that most people were oblivious to. I have been a state of dread and panic about this issue since and have continued to research non-stop, while also using Facebook and Instagram to share everything I have learned.
As consumers, we have been participating in the creation of a plastic apocalypse, while choosing to be blind to it. I feel it’s no one person or group’s fault. We began sucking a substance from beneath the earth, that took millions of years to form and have lapped up everything it offered us, including plastic – a solid, synthetic, poisonous, non-compostable substance. Business soon started to unnecessarily gift-wrap our food in layer upon layer of the stuff, and we loved it because it made us feel special.
But we did not plan for a way of dealing with the quantities we were creating; we were told to put it in our bin and that it was “being taken care of”. No one questioned it – because it was just so darned convenient. But now that we think about it, it’s logical that it would build up and cause the plastic pollution crisis now here. Let alone all the health ramifications of using a poisonous substance for our food items and future generations who will live on a planet fully contaminated with billions upon billions of tonnes of micro pieces of poisonous plastic.
I am not just picking on Costco! I have featured many businesses for this very same issue. While I believe most businesses are involved in our current plastic catastrophe; they are not the only guilty parties. The oil companies are in cahoots with the plastic industry, product suppliers unnecessarily wrap in plastic, corporate board members make destructive environmental decisions to increase shareholder returns. Using excess plastic is encouraged inside most stores and customers have learned to love and expect it, piling their trolleys so high with plastic packaging that you can barely see the food, and what is not excessively pre-wrapped, they will personally pack in limitless, additional bags that the store provides, for free! And small businesses are copying the big businesses, so customers now feel their food is contaminated if it is not wrapped – feeding our new germ-phobic society, that expects food to look sterile.
And our waste industries are responsible for pretending they are ‘closing the loop,’ taking care of everything, so long as we ‘put our waste in the right bin,’ which is behaviour encouraged by our politicians, with the goal of making us consume endless amounts of single use items and packaging, that we don’t need. While at the same time, they have refused to support our struggling recycling industry. And finally, the media who wouldn’t talk about this issue until recently, because the public was so disinterested, they didn’t want to hear about it. But the media has made up for lost time and finally this issue is trending with story after story about our current waste crisis.
The topic of waste is not trending because we are in a cataclysmic situation with pollution, but rather, because terrified and hardworking people, like me and thousands of other concerned citizens are speaking up, and setting up social media pages, harassing stores and the media. But shockingly, most people are still indifferent, just look in any supermarket trolley if you need evidence.
We need a larger army to fight this war on plastic. We need you!
PS: I just give little snippets of information in my video, below are links that can provide you with additional information. And please have a look around my website, it’s full of interesting videos, blog posts, downloads and podcasts. And if you would like to know my personal story, I have an inexpensive and fascinating eBook -> Plastic Girl.
An absolute must read if you want to educate yourself about plastic. Plastic production is the problem… focusing on the waste industry just obfuscates the responsibility that rests with producers.
60 Minutes story on the recycling crisis.
Some important info and statistics on plastic waste.